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A Shot in the Dark: Researching Film Noir

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  1. A Shot in the Dark:Researching Film Noir The Big Combo Dir. Joseph L. Lewis, 1955 Gary Handman ghandman@library.berkeley.edu 3-8666

  2. A Shot in the Dark:Researching Film Noir The Killers Dir. Robert Siodmak, 1946

  3. The point of all this... • Describe the types and sources of information available related to film studies and other media research • Discuss how to find this stuff in the library, using print and online resources • 3. Introduce a group of basic moves and features common to many online catalogs and indexes. • 4. Practice using these features in selected databases.

  4. Writing About Film… Scholarly/ In-depth Current Pop and fan Industry Historical

  5. Sources for Film & TV Scholarship and Research • Journals, Magazines, Newspapers • Reviews • Critical/ScholarlyArticles • Books • Web Sites (more about this later…) • Other online databases Scarlet Street, Dir. Fritz Lang, 1945

  6. Journal Articles:Reviews? Critical Writing? What’s the Diff? • Reviews: • Found in popular periodicals, film periodicals, and (less often) in more scholarly journals • Web sites (fan, commercial, academic) • Assessment of aesthetic and content merits of a film • Usually cover current releases, more pop theatrical releases • Tend to be relatively short and relatively superficial (with some exceptions and depending on the publication and who’s doing the writing) Double Indemnity Dir. Billy Wilder, 1944

  7. Reviews? Critical Writing? What’s the Diff? • Critical analysis: • Found in books and scholarly or film-related journals • Discuss films in: • broader historical, cultural, political, artistic context and/or • Focus on a specific aspect of a film, film genre, or filmmaker • Tend to be longer, more substantive than reviews (with some exceptions and depending on the publication and who’s doing the writing) • Often include notes, bibliographies, other scholarly apparatus

  8. Critical/Scholarly Articles • Who’s Writing About Noir?: • Film studies & scholarly journals in other disciplines—eg: • Language & Lit • Women’s studies (representations of women and issues of gender) • Gay/Lesbian studies (issues of masculinity and gender) • Area studies…etc. (noir from other countries) Key Largo Dir. John Huston, 1948

  9. Reviews Critical/ScholarlyArticles Klein, Norman M. "Staging Murders: The Social Imaginary, Film, and the City." Wide Angle - Volume 20, Issue 3 1998 Arthur, P. "Blade Runner." (motion picture review) Film Comment, 1996 Jul-Aug, V32 N4:21+. • Journal Articles and Reviews

  10. Books • Scholarly/authoritative works • Pop schlock and fan works • How Do You Tell em’ apart? • Author’s credentials/affiliations • Publisher (e.g. BFI, AFI, University Presses vs pop press) • Scholarly apparatus and sources: notes, bibliographies, other documentation • If they’ve been widely cited by other scholars

  11. …But how do you locate this stuff? Library Catalog(s) Journal/Newspaper Indexes (article databases)

  12. Library Catalog(s) • Pathfinder: UCB Library holdings only • MELVYL (CDL cat): All 9 UC Campuses • An inventory of what the library owns (books, journals, newspapers, media, maps, manuscripts, govt documents…etc. etc. etc. etc. • Search by Author, Title, Subject • Whole books and print and electronic journals, NOT what’s inside of those publications The Locket Dir. John Brahm, 1946

  13. Articles/Reviews (how do you find this stuff?) Online & Print Indexes and Abstracts Jumping Off point for Finding Online Indexes: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ Find Information / Articles / By Subject T-Men Dir. Anthony Man, 1947

  14. Online & Print Indexes and Abstracts • Film-related (not many exist) • General news • Literary and Arts • Other disciplines: e.g. --Women’s Studies, --American Studies, --Ethnic Studies, --History…etc. The Big Heat Dir. Fritz Lang, 1953

  15. Once You Find a Citation, How Do You Find the Journal/Article? • Some indexes provide holdings info [UC eLinks] • Some indexes link tofull-text If neither…use Pathfinder to look up the JOURNAL

  16. Full-text! UCB Holdings!

  17. How to Begin? Before you click: THINK • Formulate your search in terms of: • KEY WORDS andSYNOMYMS: • --Looks for words anywhere in record: title, subject, abstract and full-text (if avail) • PHRASES: • --Looks for words in the exact order entered

  18. How to Begin? Before you click: THINK Formulate your search in terms of keyword and key phrases: Sex [women, love, relationships] and Death[dying, mortality, fate] in the films [cinema, movie*] of Robert Siodmak and Edward Dmytryk. The representation [reflect* portray*] of gender [sex*] and masculinity[masculin*, male, men] in film noir **** Truncation varies from db to db: * # ? emigra* = emigrant, emigrants, emigrate, emigration

  19. Whatta ya do if nuthin’ ain’t turning up? …Or too Much?

  20. The Lady from Shanghai Dir. Orson Welles, 1948 • http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/FilmBibMenu.html • a growing listing of bibliographies on various film topics and individual films compiled by MRC (includes bibs for genres, filmmakers, national cinemas, and individual film).

  21. PROXY! Chinatown

  22. …being driven totally over the edge by your research? Call me: Gary Handman 643-8566 ghandman@library.berkeley.edu This Gun for Hire Dir. Frank Tuttle, 1942